August 05, 2010

Japanese Outfielder Makes Amazing Catch: Hiroshima Toyo Carp outfielder Masato Akamatsu robbed Yokohoma BayStars batter Shuichi Murata of a home run earlier this week. See the video.

posted by rcade to baseball at 03:05 PM - 14 comments

And that one's out of the park...our - an amazing catch!

posted by kokaku at 05:28 PM on August 05, 2010

Yeah. That is the best over-the-wall catch I've ever seen. Great, great stuff.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:33 PM on August 05, 2010

From what I could remember of my Japanese, there was a comparison to Suzuki Ichiro toward the end of the clip. If so, it was well deserved. The announcers also said that Akamatsu looked like an Olympic athlete as well as a baseball player. Thanks for posting something of my second favorite baseball team.

posted by Howard_T at 06:20 PM on August 05, 2010

I second what Weedy said.

posted by outonleave at 08:27 PM on August 05, 2010

That's a good catch, but I think this one by another Japanese player quite a few years ago is even better:

posted by grum@work at 09:57 PM on August 05, 2010

I suck at embedding and this isn't the greatest recording of this, but here are Best Damned Sports Show's 50 Greatest Catches of All Time, and for me, they got No. 1 right.

You can fast forward to around the 3:00 mark to see it.

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:09 AM on August 06, 2010

As amazing as these plays are... aren't they still homeruns- or at least, wouldn't they be in MLB? I thought the way the rules worked in MLB- and the reason we never see this play in the majors- is that if you step into the foul or homerun area, the ball is ruled foul or a homerun based on that. So if you were to step on the top of the third-base-line railing and catch a ball in foul territory, it'd be dead- but if you dive into the foul area and catch it before you land, it's a catch (and any runners can advance if they so choose). Likewise, if you were to step on the top of the outfield fence like both these videos show, the ball would still be a homerun even though you caught it- because you went outside of the field of play before catching it. Had they climbed the wall without stepping on the top and threw themselves over and caught it while still in the air, it'd be an out (and again, if their momentum carried them over the runners could advance on the fly out while they climbed back to fair territory).

Am I correct in my reading of MLB rules?

posted by hincandenza at 02:05 AM on August 06, 2010

In cricket the rule is similar to what you describe, hincadenza. Hence, things like this as the fielder catches the ball, realises he's going to fall over the boundry, so throws the ball in the air as he falls, then runs back into the field to catch it again!

posted by JJ at 07:43 AM on August 06, 2010

In other news, Japanese baseball teams wear home whites on the road. Whoah! Truly a foreign world... *looks up in the sky, wonders about the miracles and magnets*

posted by NoMich at 07:48 AM on August 06, 2010

Am I correct in my reading of MLB rules?

The top of the walls are not home run areas. If a ball hits the top of the wall and then bounces back into the field of play, it's not a home run. If a ball hits the top of the wall and then bounces into the stands, then it is a home run.

posted by grum@work at 08:06 AM on August 06, 2010

I think the difference between the two catches is mainly in the earlier catch the player gets to the ball earlier and has a moment to wait when he is atop the wall. In the more recent catch the player barley gets to the ball, makes the catch and spins back to the field in a fluid last second motion which makes IMO this catch more spectacular. If that is even possible. Of course they are both remarkable displays of athleticism and coordination.

posted by Atheist at 02:26 PM on August 06, 2010

Actually, I think you're wrong grum: if the ball hits the top of the wall (not the topmost part of the front-facing part, but the actual ledge) it's ruled a homerun, even if it bounces back on to the field of play.

By that logic, a player who steps on that part- not just Parkour-ing up the wall, but planting his foot on that ledge- before making the catch is technically in homerun territory, and the play should be ruled no different than if a player climbed into the stands to make the catch.

posted by hincandenza at 02:39 PM on August 06, 2010

Edmonds catch is probably number one for me too fatty. But I think the first over-the-wall is better than grum's link. By the slimmest of margins. The first guy had way less time and traveled a greater distance.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:40 PM on August 06, 2010

Weedy and I are (apparently) having a psychic conversation. It's somehow bled over into the comments on Sportsfilter. I apologize if any of the dirty thoughts about Tawny Kitaen and Chuck Finley turn into images in this thread.

posted by yerfatma at 09:08 PM on August 06, 2010

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